Drugstore beauty brand e.l.f. Cosmetics offers very low priced makeup products that are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. E.l.f.’s prestige-inspired makeup products rival and often exceed some prestige makeup brands in performance with their high-quality and cheap prices. Today I’d like to discuss some of the best e.l.f. Cosmetics makeup products.
About e.l.f. Cosmetics
Did you know that e.l.f. stands for “Eyes, Lips, Face”? E.l.f. Cosmetics was launched in 2004 with a drive to create inexpensive high-quality makeup. Scott Vincent Borba and Joseph Shamah (whose father helped launch the company) founded e.l.f. Cosmetics, which is headquartered in Oakland, CA.
Scott Vincent Borba was inspired by seeing women driving expensive cars shopping at dollar stores for cosmetics. The founders believed that the traditional beauty model was out of date. They soon set out to offer products via a direct-to-consumer method through their e-commerce website, which still accounts for 50% of their total sales today.
One thing that stands out with e.l.f. Cosmetics is its high number of new product launches each year. They work, learn, and test quickly so that new products can be brought to market at a fast speed. This equates to almost a new product each week.
Especially popular with millennials, e.l.f. takes pride in listening to their customers’ requests and suggestions to help them guide their company. e.l.f. continues to expand into the global marketplace and launched e.l.f. Beauty Inc. on the New York Stock Exchange in September 2016.
All e.l.f. products are free from phthalates, parabens, nonylphenol ethoxylates, triclosan, triclocarban, and hydroquinone. All of their products are also cruelty-free and vegan.
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The Best e.l.f. Cosmetics Makeup Products
I’ve tried many e.l.f. skincare products and have been so impressed with their quality. The same can be said of their makeup products. Every time I try a new product from e.l.f. I am pleasantly surprised by either the pigmentation of the product, the long wear of the product, or some other unexpected benefit that I would not expect from such low-cost makeup.
Related Post: The Best e.l.f. Skincare Products
Let’s take a look at some of the best e.l.f. Cosmetics makeup products:
e.l.f. Cosmetics Putty Primers
This best-selling collection of primers are stand-outs from e.l.f. Whether you wear a full face of makeup or no makeup at all, these putty primers are smoothing and blurring for a poreless look. You can also use them in place of eyeshadow and lip primer too! If you are in a hurry and want a quick look at the benefits of each primer, please see this table comparing Poreless Putty Primer, Matte Putty Primer, and Luminous Putty Primer.
Whether you have a combination, dry, oily, sensitive, or mature skin, there is sure to be an e.l.f. primer that will work for your complexion. Can’t decide between the 3 primers? Try them all in this convenient trio of minis!
A crazy popular drugstore makeup dupe, and per e.l.f.’s website, the #1 primer in America, e.l.f. Cosmetics Poreless Putty Primer is the original putty primer from e.l.f. and the one that always sells out! This skin-perfecting primer grips makeup and glides easily across the skin.
This putty primer smooths imperfections and minimizes the appearance of pores as suggested in its name. It helps makeup last longer and is ideal for all skin types.
The primer is formulated with green tea extract (Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract), which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also infused with squalane, an emollient that hydrates and locks in moisture.
This primer should be applied after your moisturizer and before your foundation and makeup. Allow it to set for about 30 seconds before applying makeup. You can also apply it to your eyelids to help lock eyeshadow into place. Perfect for those with dry and combination skin.
I finally understood what all the fuss was after trying this product. It is an effective primer that smoothes, hydrates, and helps your foundation perform better. Even my skin texture looks improved. This primer is so popular that e.l.f. has come out with two additional putty primers that provide the same benefits but with a matte or luminous finish.
E.l.f. Cosmetics Matte Putty Primer provides the same skin-perfecting benefits as the original Poreless Putty Primer but with a matte finish. The oil-free formula contains kaolin and white charcoal to help absorb excess oil. The primer grips makeup and smooths imperfections with a shine-free finish.
It feels somewhat drier upon application than the original putty primer. This primer that has a velvety texture helps makeup last longer. It really blurs the skin and helps to reduce the look of pores.
The mattifying formula is on display once the product is blended into the skin. Since I usually go for matte finishes in my foundations, I don’t really need a matte primer too, so I prefer the original Poreless Putty Primer to this product. But if you have oily skin this may be very helpful in controlling oil and helping makeup stay put all day.
E.l.f. Cosmetics Luminous Putty Primer provides a luminous, soft-focus, and radiant base for foundation and makeup. This primer is infused with sodium hyaluronate and vegan collagen to plump the skin. Like the other putty primers, this primer smoothes skin and hides imperfections, reducing the appearance of pores. It creates a glowing base for makeup application.
I was surprised that there is so much golden pigment in this product. As you can see from the image above, it has quite a bit of golden shimmer. Once makeup is applied though, that golden shimmer is minimized. I would use this primer if I want a radiant finish. It would be perfect for an evening makeup look.
Like the other primers, this luminous primer smoothes my skin and evens out texture while minimizing pores. It’s a highly effective smoothing formula similar to the original, with an added golden glow.
E.l.f. Cosmetics Flawless Finish Foundation (shown above (L to R) in Beige and Sand) is e.l.f.’s best-selling liquid foundation. It is a lightweight oil-free foundation that melts into the skin and provides a lovely semi-matte finish. This liquid foundation helps to even out skin tone and brighten skin. It lasts all day, too.
Flawless Finish foundation is formulated for all skin types and comes in a whopping 40 shades. All of these shade options ensure that fair, light medium, tan, deep and rich skin tones are covered with a variety of neutral, cool, pink, peach, olive, rosy, red and golden undertones.
Since the foundation is only $6, I’ve tried a few shades. Right now, I am mixing Beige (light with cool pink undertones) with Sand (light-medium with neutral undertones). This foundation is buildable and I really like the natural finish that wears well all day. It wears even better when applied after e.l.f.’s best-selling putty primers.
E.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Camo Concealer (shown above in Light Sand) is a full-coverage liquid concealer that has a satin finish. It is an all-day long-wear concealer that provides crease-proof coverage while hydrating your skin.
It is formulated with sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid, to hydrate, plump, and seal moisture into the skin. The concealer also contains rose flower water to soothe and nourish the skin with its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Most importantly, this concealer hides discoloration, blemishes, under-eye circles, and other imperfections all while hydrating your skin. The formula is very pigmented and the satin finish keeps away the creasing and cracking. This concealer has a large doe foot applicator. It is formulated for normal, combination, and dry skin and is available in 25 shades.
I was impressed with e.l.f.’s matte 16 hr Camo Concealer and even wrote a post about testing it as a dupe for a high-end concealer favorite. When I discovered Hydrating Camo Concealer, I discovered that I like it even more than the original matte version since the satin finish of this hydrating formula causes minimal creasing.
The coverage is extremely pigmented, so I only need a little dab on the inside corners of my eyes. It does wonders to conceal dark under-eye circles, blemishes, and discoloration on my face.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Primer-Infused Blush is an award-winning long-wear matte blush. It is formulated with lock-on primer powder to ensure your blush lasts all day. It’s easy to blend and highly pigmented and stays put once blended. The blush comes in 7 shades with lots of neutral options.
I’ve never tried a primer infused blush before so I had no expectations. This blush really impressed me. I have the shade Always Punchy (shown above) and since it seemed a little light I thought the color might get lost on my cheeks. That was not the case. This blush is so richly pigmented and really stands out on my cheeks. The color lasts all day too. I think this is such a great blush product for such a low price.
E.l.f. Cosmetics High Definition Powder is a loose powder formulated to create a soft-focus effect on the skin. It is designed to hide fine lines and imperfections for a refined and luminous complexion.
The loose powder comes in three shades: Sheer, Soft Luminance, and Corrective Yellow. I use the shade Sheer (shown above). Just tap some of the powder into the cap and swirl a powder brush over the powder. Then tap the excess and buff the powdered brush onto your face. I concentrate on the t-zone of my nose, chin, and forehead. This is the area where oil accumulates most throughout the day.
This neutral shade of powder is also perfect to set concealer under the eyes. It’s extremely lightweight, doesn’t cake, and a light layer won’t interfere with other makeup products.
E.l.f. Cosmetics Baked Highlighter is an award-winning best-selling highlighter that provides a sheer layer of shimmering color. The highlighter is formulated with Vitamin E and a blend of oils including jojoba, rosehip, sunflower, apricot, and grape oils that hydrate and nourish your skin.
The highlighter can be applied dry for a sheer look or wet for a more vibrant look. Use a highlighting brush to apply it your your cheekbones, brow bones, and Cupid’s bow to brighten an illuminate your face. I like to use my fingers to apply it to the inner corners of my eyes for a more wide awake look.
The highlighter comes in three shades: Moonlight Pearls (shown above), Apricot Glow, and Blush Gems. For the low price, you can buy all three without any overspending guilt!
NOTE: Be sure to scrape off the top protective layer with a brush or your fingers before using this product.
E.l.f. Cosmetics Bite Size Eyeshadow Palettes are co cute and have such gorgeous pigments and color ranges. Each mini palette contains 4 shades that are creamy, blendable, and highly pigmented.
Each palette has a mix of matte and shimmer shades. The color payoff is very rich and they are easy to blend to create a unique and defined eye makeup look. They are small with no extra bells and whistles, which makes them idea for travel or to throw into your purse.
I have the palette Rose Water, which includes 4 rosy and brown neutral shades. So pretty and easy, these eyeshadow palettes are so cheap that you can buy multiple palettes for additional shade options.
E.l.f. Cosmetics Instant Lift Brow Pencil has a precision liner on one end and a spoolie on the other to shape and define your brows. The pencil is formulated with grapeseed oil to condition your brows and support growth and vitamin E to nourish your brows and skin.
The pencil has a creamy consistency and applies easily for an accurate smudge-proof finish. It has a fine tip but not a micro-fine tip, so you are able to deposit more product with one swipe of the pencil.
The pencil is available in the following shades:
- Blonde: Light to Strawberry Blonde Hair
- Taupe: Blonde to Light Brown Hair
- Auburn: Red to Brown Hair
- Neutral Brown: Medium Brown Hair
- Deep Brown: Dark Brown to Black Hair
- Black: Deep Black Hair
I use the Blonde shade (shown above) and I like that it is a little darker than some other “Blonde” shades that I’ve tried in the past. The pencil is super easy to use and depending on how many pencil strokes you use, it creates a subtle or dramatic and defined brow look that lasts all day.
E.l.f. Cosmetics Clear Brow and Lash Mascara is a dual-sided clear gel that not only grooms lashes and brows but also conditions them for a healthy, defined look. You can shape and separate your brows and lashes with this easy to use all-in-one product formula.
One side of this brow and lash mascara is for lashes, and the other side is for your brows. (Each side is marked. ) The brow mascara can be applied on your brows alone or as a finishing brow gel over brow color to groom and set your brows. The lash mascara can be worn alone or under mascara for all-day wear. It can be used to add texture and length to your lashes without any clumping or flaking.
I sometimes use this alone on my lashes without any color applied underneath for conditioning and a natural look. But since my brows are so light I usually need to define my brows with a darker shade than my actual brows. I will apply this after brow color to set and define my brows and keep them in place. The mascara wand does pick up the brow color underneath, but I simply wipe off the wand before returning it to the tube.
e.l.f Cosmetics Ride Or Die Lip Balm is a very rich and highly moisturizing lip balm. This lip balm stands out for its super thick texture and pretty shine. It’s highly pigmented too.
E.l.f. wants you to think of it as a restoring mask for your lips. Perfect for cool weather months when your lips are in need of some TLC. It comes in four shades: Boss Berry, Just Peachy, Mighty Mint, and Tough Cookie (shown above).
E.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Lacquer is enriched with vitamins A and E to hydrate, nourish, and soften the lips. The lip gloss comes in 10 shades that provide a subtle wash of color and brilliant shine.
The color of this thick lacquer (shown in Wild Rose above) is buildable yet non-sticky and looks great alone or under a more pigmented lip color. The shades include pinks, browns, clear, and even a bright purple shade.
Final Thoughts of the Best e.l.f. Cosmetics Drugstore Products
E.l.f. Cosmetics products continue to impress with this high-performing selection of makeup products. My favorites? Poreless Putty Primer, Primer-Infused Blush, and Hydrating Camo Concealer. Honorable mention goes out to e.l.f.’s bronzer palettes and their makeup brushes.
What are your favorite products from e.l.f.? I’d love to know…
Thanks for reading, and until next time…